'The end of a brand: On the fall of the Rajapaksas'

Responding to the resignation of Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, amidst escalating violence between supporters of the government and anti-government demonstrators, the Hindu notes that the larger message is that muscular nationalism and majoritarian mobilisation may not be an endless reservoir of support”. Long venerated by the Sinhala majority as a war hero for the crush military defeat of the LTTE, which saw a litany of war crimes and accusations of genocide; Rajapaksa “could never have imagined that his teeming support base would be replaced by swarming protesters so...

India denies rumours that Rajapaksas have fled the island

The Indian High Commission to Sri Lanka has denied rumours circulating that "political persons", namely the Rajapaksas, have fled to India as theh island plunges into further turmoil. The High Commission dismissed rumours that have been circulating on social media claiming that Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family "had fled to India in a helicopter sent by the Indian government". Reacting to the rumours, the High Commission tweeted that "these are fake and blatantly false reports, devoid of any truth or substance and that the Commission "strongly denies" them.

UN High Commissioner urges 'restraint and meaningful dialogue' to address violence in Sri Lanka

UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet called on Sri Lanka to "prevent further violence, and urged restraint and meaningful dialogue" to address the worsening violence on the island. The human rights chief said she was "deeply troubled" by the violence that broke out yesterday between pro and anti- government supporters. “I condemn all violence and call on the authorities to independently, thoroughly and transparently investigate all attacks that have occurred. It is crucial to ensure that those found responsible, including those inciting or organising violence, are held to account," Bachelet...

Militarisation continues as Sri Lankan army opens park in Jaffna

Amidst growing alarm over continued militarisation, the 51 Division of Sri Lanka’s army opened a Park in Kopay, Jaffna on Sunday as part of the military’s “Army Way Forward Strategy-2020-2025”. The event was attended by Sri Lanka’s notorious Army Chief, Shavendra Silva. Silva is currently banned from travelling to the US due to concerns over war crimes. He led the 58th division during Sri Lanka’s military offensive in 2009, which stands accused of executing surrendering Tamils, sexual violence, and the deliberate shelling of hospitals. On the army’s website, the park is described as the first...

Army runs workshop with Tamil school children in Military-run resort on occupied land

In the days leading up to remembrance protests of the Mullivaikkal massacre, the Sri Lankan army held a workshop to train 50 Tamil students on the development of “personality and leadership,” “mess etiquettes,” “decision-making,” etc. in the military-run Thalsevana holiday resort on Thursday (28). The workshop was a part of a broader project initiated by Major General Chandana Wickramasinghe, an accused war criminal. Based on a dossier released by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), during the height of the Mullivaikkal massacre, he commanded the Gajaba Regiment which was...

Attacks by Sri Lankan government supporters increases 'risk of further deadly violence' says Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned of "further deadly violence and other abuses" following the attacks by pro-government supporters on protesters who were camped out on Galle Face Green demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In a statement, HRW's South Asia Director, Meenakshi Ganguly, said: “The attack on peaceful protesters by Sri Lankan government supporters has sparked a dangerous escalation, increasing the risk of further deadly violence and other abuses." “It is vitally important for the security forces to fully respect the right to peaceful assembly, and...

Offices of government politicians vandalised in North-East

The office of at least two Sri Lankan government aligned politicians have been vandalised in the North-East earlier today, in the first signs of the recent anti-government unrest spreading to the Tamil homeland. In Mannipay, a hoarding outside the office of SLFP parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan has reportedly been set ablaze. Meanwhile in Batticaloa, the office of an SLPP politician was vandalised by locals. Banners with photographs of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa were torn down and set alight. Heavy security has been reported outside...

Muslim shops and vehicles targeted in Negombo

Tense situation is Negombo where shops and vehicles torched #lka #SriLankaCrisis #Negombo pic.twitter.com/rz1wVSE0ri — Prabodth Yatagama (@PrabodaYatagama) May 10, 2022 Muslim shops and vehicles have been targeted and set alight by a group of unidentified individuals allegedly on the orders of a local area politician. Some reports detail that the fighting started after a pro-government group supported by a local area politician attacked houses in the area accusing residents of being involved in looting. The situation remains tense but has reportedly been brought under control following the...

Sri Lankan military to shoot anyone 'looting public property or causing harm to others'

The Defence Ministry has ordered Sri Lankan military forces to shoot anyone 'looting public property or causing harm to others'. Protests across the South of the country turned violent yesterday as Pro-government supporters of the Rajapaksa regime and Anti-government protestors clashed. As many as 8 people have been killed and more than 200 injured after a bloody day of violence in Sri Lanka, which saw homes of parliamentarians torched and mobs roaming across the Sinhala south. The violence began as regime supporters gathered at Temple Trees, the official residence of the Sri Lankan prime...

Rajapaksa statue torn down in Sri Lanka

The statue of DA Rajapaksa located in Tangalle has been taken down by a group of demonstrators today. DA Rajapaksa is a former MP and Sri Lanka Freedom Party member. He is also patriarch to the Rajapaksa family that have long dominated politics on the island, being the father to both Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. On 9 May a memorial built for DA Rajapaksa was destroyed. The ancestral home of the Rajapaksa family was also allegedly set on fire by demonstrators. This comes amidst escalating tensions on the island that have resulted in clashes between both pro and anti-government protestors...

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